This has been quite the week.
I had the fortune of a brief visit with brothers from another lifetime; two days later I am still emotionally high from the connection started so long ago.
As I flew home to reality, I enjoyed the conversation with a spitfire, spark of life, New York transplanted, 8th grade math teacher.
While I did not catch her name, we chatted like known acquaintances comparing notes on our ideas and thoughts of the education of our youth. She brought the perspective and young energy of taking over the world, I shared years of observations, and we both collaborated on what we thought we were doing well, and brainstorming ways to overcome the simplest of obstacles the established continue to endure.
The optimist in me roots and champions her unbridled enthusiasm, my inner cynic wants to warn and caution her. The non-conformist in me cheers knowing she will be bucking the system, challenging the status quo. The realist hopes she doesn’t get shutdown by the incumbents largely disconnected from the day to day operations who settled and are marking time to retirement.
We have a lot of great teachers; its too bad they are not backed or represented by equally altruistic driven leadership. It not just a Utah problem, its a national problem. We are getting left behind because we are forced to pander to the everyone is special, social justice wearing their emotions on their sleeve generation who place greater emphasis how they feel instead of what they know. We are stymied by others who want to pretend our history does not exist, or those who think we still have to account for actions conducted generations ago. We continue to let ourselves get distracted over the most trivial of items instead of focusing on solving the bigger problems of being surpassed by the rest of the world.
Then I had the most wonderful conversation with this beautiful lightening bolt, who not only understands the problems we are facing, has the ability, knowledge and drive to work to a better future. She gave me hope. She inspired me.
I wish I knew her name for the simple act to say thank you. Thank you for what I can only imagine she will do for those families and fellow teachers lives she will undoubtedly touch.
To my exit row companion, thank you.